Subject: Stranding Japan

Kim Marshall (
Sun, 24 Oct 1999 22:16:43 -0400

>Question:  Hello, greeting from Karatu City, Kyushu, Japan.  My name is
>Harumi,  young
>minded middle-aged woman.  I would like to hear your advice.  Three small
>whales got into our small bay 4 weeks ago.  Situation about whales have been
>changed and people do not think about catching them any more.  Most of the
>citizen want the whales survive and get back to their home or group.  We
>have not experience about whales.  Some say that one of them is wouded.
>They float slowly around the bay.  Sea water is getting colder, and we are
>worried about their health.  Only today, two of the whales were "rescued" by
>staff from the nearby marine park.  Those people gave them a shot of
>something to make them still, and got them on a truck and brought them into
>their acquerium.  I don't like the idea but I have no power.  There should
>be one more whale left in our bay all by himself.  My question is: Does he
>survive the coming winter?  How should we lead him out of the bay to the
>safer place?  I hope you can give us a suggestion.  I can try to hand it
>over to the Mayor.  Yours, Harumi Okochi
Reply:  Dear Harumi,
Thank you for your email - I can understand your desire to want to help the
whales.  It would seem that they could be sick or disoriented for some
reason.  If they have been taken to an aquarium this is probably the only
chance they will have to survive if they are sick.  Aquariums usually have
very knowledgable vets and I am sure they will do the right thing.  The
behavior you have described sounds like they are unhealthy and if so trying
to help the one left in the bay will not do much good.  Try contacting the
aquarium to see what they learned about the two captured whales first.  I
wish you luck - your concern is heartwarming!
To learn more about this why whales strand on beaches I recommend
contacting the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, at this
web address: or utilize the vast information available
through WhaleNet at  

Kim Marshall-Tilas
Whale Conservation Institute/Ocean Alliance
191 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
(781) 259-0423
fax: 259-0288